Ballooning in Salzburg,
September 1998

After Ballooning in Prague

featuring Don's Journal
(along with Alf's observations)

Saturday, September 5, 1998

(DON:) Mike, tell me again about smashing pumpkins and boulders ... Shame! Schloss Fuschl (7100 bytes)Tamer were the "jumpers" from Steve’s balloon the other night. Cam and Chris brought along a good supply of parachutists to put on a show for the other balloons and the folks on the ground. I hear they have something more spectacular in store for us in Austria. I guess they need to top last year’s balloon escapades.

In Austria we are staying at the lakeside Hotel Schloss Fuschl, a 15th century castle. The hotel brochure tells us "it was the venue for the famous and pompous hunts of the Salzburg Archbishops with magnificent feasts. Linda HamiltonSince then guests have included Clark Gable, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton (am I sleeping in her bed?), Alf Erickson and the Prince of Wales." For several days it will be ours.

Now back to ballooning. It was a bright sunny afternoon and we were scheduled to depart at 5PM. We drove to a nearby field and the pilots studied the winds for over an hour before giving up and taking us back to the hotel. Alf repeated the S and F words feeling once again that the LCD ruled. After three flights I can certainly sympathize. The ride is so spectacular that you would not want to miss a single opportunity.

Buddy says the forecast is not good for Saturday. Fear not ... let us hope for better come Sunday. In the mean time we can look for Julie Andrews and the Trapp family frolicking in the fields to brighten our day! See you soon.


It rained.

We didn’t fly.

We didn’t receive any boxes of corkscrews.

We went to the city of Salzburg for a tour. It rained there too. We toured. We got our feet wet.

Sunday, September 6, 1998


It rained.

We didn’t fly.

We didn’t get any corkscrews.

We didn’t see any elephants.

We went to Salzburg’s Natural History Museum. W saw dead stuffed birds and other dead stuffed things.

We will do a sun dance. Hopefully, we will fly tomorrow morning.

I had just dozed off after writing the above account of the day when the telephone rang. It was Steve: "We have a window. We’re going. The Previas will be here in 15 minutes." We were ready and rearing to go in 5 minutes. The caravan of five balloons and the bevy of Previas was quickly assembled and we were on our way. Ten minutes later we were at the site ,,, a quick rain shower passed over ... and we were on our way. The greenery, the mountains, the lakes, the setting sun, the rising moon ... all were a spectacular treat for us. How nice to fly again! And we haven’t even started the sun dance. Buddy, who is always optimistic, tells his group of flower balloon fliers that they will get in their four flights. If we hadn’t flown tonight there were only three remaining chances ... morning and evening tomorrow and then Tuesday morning (lunch is at the end of the tour). So, Alf and I were reflecting upon the first flight. Alf said the Buddy tour had a lot of first time flyers and the wind might be a bit too brisk for them (a much older group.) But, then he added "and, it may be their last flight."

Annie, Chris, Bonnie and I flew aboard Corkscrew I with Mike piloting. At 1000 feet, Chris sailed the Middle of Nowhere CD by Hanson. At 12:00 he sailed a Styrofoam airplane which turned circles for ten minutes before landing in a field of contented cows.

With darkness upon us Mike started looking for a suitable landing site. Remember the Prague flight when Mike landed on the trailer? Well, he did it again but this time the trailer was on the intersection of two blacktops ... no wet feet for the crew this time! But, now for the thrilled throng that greeted us for the usual Champagne ceremony.

Have you visited Alf’s elephant pages?

Did you notice that all of the polo players are female? Alf takes only female players on his polo adventures. This year’s Screwy Tusker’s team will have 13 females and Alf. By the way, most of the elephants Alf plays with are also feminine.

Das Schwimm KlubThis evening’s ballooning was followed by a nice dinner at Schloss Fuschl. There was a full moon lighting up the lake and Sam had some insane idea about a midnight swim. Sam, Bernie, Steve, and I formed DAS SCHWIMM KLUB. Our first club swim was short and very very cold. We retreated to the bar for some warm up bars. Sam built a fire and soon our chattering stopped. Then Annie came in. She wanted to take photos of the swim. We braved it again and we did our water ballet for the camera.

We are planning another swim in 20 years.

Monday, September 7, 1998

(DON:) This morning we got a 7AM call from Steve ... "We’re on and leaving at 8AM." We drove about an hour and launched our first morning flight. It was a beautiful sunny day and watching the other four balloons with the Austrian Alps background was marvelous. Bonnie decided the cows looked like card board cut outs from our perspective. They mooooooed as we passed over. Sam, Patty and Ellie were aboard. Ellie was delighted with her launch of a glider and two jumpers, one of which was caught by Dan on the ground.

The landing was quite comfortable and uneventful.

It is now noon. We are back in the hotel before our departure to the MONDSEE for an afternoon lunch cruise catered by Shamane.

(LAST BITS FROM DON:) It’s 6:15Pm and we are in the balloon. It is our last Austrian flight! As we look over to the south we see Corkscrew Balloon II with its gold and silver columns glossing in the sun. To the east are Buddy’s three balloons. Directly below us is Hotel Schloss Fuschl.

We’ll rest well.

Tomorrow Alf is off to Paris and we are going to Vienna.

We will meet up again next week in London for the ICCA meeting.

We loved this trip!

Tuesday, September 8, 1998

(ALF:) Well, that ended things. This morning there was nothing else to do but say goodbye. Err, goodbyes, that is, as there were so many of us. My kids and two of their mates were ticketed to go back to the States, as were my three grand children. Don and Bonnie were off on their own ... probably touring Austria. But, I’ll see those two friends in London for the big Silver ICCA.

Next Stop: France

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